It’s May, and that means it’s Mystery Month here at Booklist Publications. The pages of Booklist magazine just can’t contain our enthusiasm for this popular genre, so we’re adding more mysteries–and thrillers, and hard-boiled crime–to the mix everywhere we can. (Feel free to join the #mysterymonth conversation on Twitter!) Here on Likely Stories, we’ll have red-hot reading recommendations from red-hot crime fiction authors every single day of the month.
First up is Gregg Hurwitz. The successful thriller author doesn’t limit his creative output to books–he also works in TV and graphic novels and is a Shakespeare expert to boot. We’ve thought highly of his books for years, but last year’s They’re Watching was a breakout. Fans who want to know about his next can read our review of You’re Next, which goes on sale this July. When we asked Hurwitz to name the best book he’s read in the last year, he raved about Don Winslow’s Savages. (We liked that one, too.)
Now and then a piece of crime fiction throttles down the pike that is so fresh, so innovative, so lively, that everyone pulls over to drink in the sight of it. Savages puts Don Winslow’s wit on display, the words sprayed across the pages as if e. e. cummings got himself a Gatling. This book is cool without being glib, outlandish yet deadly plausible, whip-smart literary without a drop of pretentiousness. It is also a no-sh*t one-sitting read. In fact, it fulfills the promises of most of those blurb stock phrases. White-knuckle thrill ride? Mm hmm. You’ll be turning pages furiously? Uh, yeah. Don’t crack it if you have to be up the next morning? Why do you think I’m slugging espresso? This thing hurtles and claws. It’s angry. It’s hopeful. It’s ugly as hell. And real-world beautiful. A rough beast of a book, it throws Winslow’s talent on peacock display, strutting its stuff, demanding attention, eliciting catcalls. And yet the center holds. Someone beat the drums and tell the savages: their hour has come round at last.